Saturday, August 21, 2010

One Year Ago Today My Life Was Changed Forever in the Most Wonderful Way!!! **UPDATED**

(I’ve finally found time to upload my videos of ‘THE CALL’. You’ll find them about half way through this post)

One year ago today my life was changed in the most miraculous, wonderful way!! One year ago today I received the call of a lifetime!! On August 21, 2009 I found out that I was the Mom of a precious baby girl waiting for me in Hunan, China and I couldn’t wait to meet her!!! Hannah Catherine XiaoFen had arrived with one amazing phone call!

Imported Photos 00027

I remember many details of that delightful, sunny day and I believe that day will forever be ingrained in my memory! I was at my friend Sharon’s house for breakfast and remember leaving and saying, ‘Today could be the day! The next time you see me I could be a Mom!!’ That being said, all was quiet in Europe where the referrals normally arrived first so truly if I was being honest with myself, I didn’t believe that that would be the day. But a girl could still dream and dream I did!!

I remember skipping down the stairs of her porch and getting into my car, cell phone glued to my left hand where it pretty much was fulltime! There was a smile across my face that nothing could remove and I truly floated throughout the office. I’m not sure how productive I was that day but they understood! Rumor Queen was refreshed numerous times each hour as I eagerly awaited any iota of information pertaining to the anticipated referral batch. Emails were flying and I physically shook each time my cell phone rang.

The morning is a blur but I remember crashing a group of co-workers celebratory lunch who were going to the Mandarin. Norma was part of that group and I just didn’t want to be alone so I went along with them, trusty cell phone always in hand or on the table directly in front of me. I remember chatting with a family at the restaurant who had a 3yo daughter from China with them. I told them I was waiting for my call to arrive any day and they were excited for me and shared some of their experiences with me as we filled our plates with rice and lemon chicken.

I arrived back in the office around 2:00 and upon refreshing Rumor Queen’s page, the first indication of a call being made had just been announced! (I’m getting goose bumps just writing this as I can remember it vividly as if it were yesterday!) I remember trying to do too many things at the same time and not knowing what to do! Call people? Email? Text? Who to call? Too many to call! Calls were being made and suddenly I knew that Monday would be my day as truly my agency, being a Canadian agency, couldn’t possibly receive their package and begin making calls that day; could they??? Wanting to find out, I once again contacted my agency and left them a message. My question to Deborah was, ‘How soon after the US agencies receive their packages do you normally get yours?’ I waited with bated breath for her to call back so that I could relax (yah….right!) and prepare myself for a call the following week.

In reality what happened SHOCKED me beyond belief. At 2:57pm I received the following email from Deborah


Hello Cathy,

I have good news – where and when do you want me to call?

Best regards, Deborah


AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! It was time!!! My call was coming!!!! I was excited, happy, barely breathing, shaking, running in circles, trying to lock up my desk and accomplishing a whole lot of nothing! :o) Thankfully my friend Rachelle happened to pass by my office and she could immediately tell that I was in labour!! Being the good (and trained friend as all my coworkers were) she grabbed my Flip and began recording!

I immediately emailed Deborah back and asked her to call my cell at 3:30pm. By this point that was only 20 mins. away and I had a 10 min walk and drive to get to Sharon and my parents! My first call had been to my parents and then to Sharon as I quickly decided where Sharon worked would be the best place to receive the call and thankfully my parents were only blocks away from there at the time too! God had placed all the right people in just the perfect places to share ‘The Call’ with me!

Here I am attempting to send a quick email to close family and friends letting them know the call was coming.

When my file went to China in March of 2006 I placed beads in a jar. Each bead represented a LID that needed to be matched before I would receive Hannah’s referral. Here I am moving the final bead….Hannah Day was finally here!!!

I raced to the car making a variety of calls and Rachelle was wonderful enough to follow along with me capturing all of the excitement! Thank you Rachelle!

I don’t remember much about the drive to the library other than it was a beautiful warm sunny day. What I do remember is seeing my parents sitting in their car in the parking lot and yelling ‘RUN!’ to them as the call was coming at any moment! Heh, I’m sure we were quite a sight as the 3 of us ran into the library in search of Sharon. We quickly found her and Marian (who recorded this for us…thanks Marian!) and before we could even get settled the phone rang! Here it is! THE CALL!!!

Part I

Part II

There was much celebrating and many tears of joy! God had blessed me with a daughter and she was only 5 ½ months old!!

After leaving the library, the day begins to blur a little more as I remember calling a lot of people to share my amazing news. I’m a MOM!!! Calls took a few hours and there were more tears of joy and shouts of celebration! I think it’s blurred as all I could do was dream of what my daughter might look like but it was so amazing to have answers. Suddenly with one phone call I knew:

- she was a girl

- her name: Yong, Xiao Fen. Soon to become Hannah Catherine XiaoFen

- her age: 5 1/2 months

- where she was living: Dao Country SWI, Hunan, China

- when we might travel: end of October 2009

- when I was going to see her picture!!! One week later…ugh!! SOOO long to wait!

Imported Photos 00033

That evening I also signed up for Hannah’s SWI’s yahoo group and began reading the archives. What fun it was to meet other families who had children from DaoXian SWI. (It also ended up being amazing as one of the gals was able to find Hannah’s Finding Ad for me) on the Sunday and it was the very first picture of her I ever saw! Here is the first picture of my precious Hannah, taken within the first couple of weeks of her precious little life.

Hannah's Finding Ad pic

August 21, 2009 is a day that will forever be one of the most amazing days in my entire life! The Lord blessed over and over again and finally, more than 4 ½ years after I first felt God leading me to adopt from China, I had a daughter and soon she would be in my arms!

Here is her precious referral pics that I saw for the first time 8 days later on Saturday, August 29, 2009.Hannah Catherine XiaoFen 1Hannah Catherine XiaoFen 3 Hannah Catherine XiaoFen 2

Today, Hannah at 17 moths holding her referral pic.Imported Photos 00227 Imported Photos 00229

‘the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes!’ Psalm 118:23

Today Hannah and I spent the day with wonderful friends. At 3:30 we all celebrated and Doris snapped this pic of Hannah and I. Thanks Doris! I year post referral....right to the minute!
330 Aug 21, 2010  1 year post referral


  1. BAWLING!!!!! Sigh. Sniff. Sigh. Sniff.
    What a wonderful compilation of such a special time in your life.
    I can't believe I was in the hospital with the twins while you were laboring your own little one!!!
    Happy Call Day!!!!

  2. Awwww, I'm not sure if I've commented before!! But I've followed your blog for awhile now!
    I'm so teary eyed after watching this, I loved the part where she tells you her birth date =)

  3. Happy Referral Day!!! You have me crying right now! That is so wonderful that you have all that videoed. Hannah is such a beauty!!

  4. Such a beautiful post about such a fantastic day in your life.

  5. What a wonderful trip down memory lane!!!

  6. Oh my goodness!!!!! Happy tears are flowing here! I am also a Yongzhou single mama and have followed your blog long before your referral...obviously not knowing that your darling would be from the same SWI as my daughter. Thank you so very much for sharing these incredible moments! How amazing that you were able to see your daughters' finding photo a week before you even saw her referral photo~what a great group of families we are a part of! Celebrate!!!!!!!
    xxoxo teri

  7. I did find till you hugged your friend and said "I am a Mom"..OMGosh the tears came then..I so remember that feeling. This post is just BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  8. That was incredibly touching - so much joyful emotion and love!

  9. Oops - didn't mean to send that comment off anonymously.

    That was incredibly touching - so much joyful emotion and love!

  10. Oh Catherine, well done in remembering that special day a year ago!
    I just love the videos - when your friend comes and hands you the balloon I just started bawling.

    At the time I didn't think it was important to record the call but now I see that when Hannah sees this when she is older she will no doubt know how much she was wanted and how excited you were to become her mommy.

    Happy anniversary!

    Julie xoxo

  11. Well girl...that was worth every minute. I'm sitting here crying my eyes out, reliving the entire day!!!!

    Cathy, the Lord has truly blessed both you and Hannah with each other. A perfect pairing! Thanks for letting me share in so many of your precious moments together.

    Hugs to you both,

  12. Oh goodness, I just bawled my eyes out! What a sweet memory!!! Happy referral day!

  13. Such a wonderful post of those precious memories! I will always remember your referral month, same as ours, one year later!

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  14. Sniff, sniff, you have me so emotional!

    Congratulations to you and Hannah, on a wonderful year, to a wonderful life to come full of joy and laughter. You two are a great family. Hannah looks and beams happiness, you are a great mom!


  15. Thank goodness I waited until I was home from work to watch this since I just cried all my make up off! Thanks for sharing. I love referral videos. I hope I'm in a position where I'll be able to tape mine cuz what a priceless treasure for our girls. :)

    Happy Referral Day!

  16. My goodness, has it really been a year already, how time flies when the little ones are home. Wonderful that you have great videos and fabulous memories. Congrats and happy referral day anniversary!

  17. I'm sitting here on the couch with Jake and Mike in their spots..they're watching the ball game and I'm blogging...and then I just burst into tears and they both jump up and run over to see what I'm looking at. :) We watched the rest of the videos together with me bawling. :)

    I remember that day and remember sitting on the beach just a few weeks earlier talking about how you would be seeing Hannah's face soon. Oh good memories! Love Psalm 118:23!

    Lots of love to both of you!!

  18. I am so glad we were able to spend you 1 year call day with you! It made an already wonderful day even more special.

  19. Catherine! My laptop has been out getting fixed and so I haven't been blog following at all. :o( Came to yours today though to check in to see how you are doing!! CRIED watching your referral videos!!! I can't believe how awesome God is!!! Hannah and you are meant to be together and watching that process has been so wonderful!!!

    Love you!!!

  20. What wonderful memories!! Such a special day. Words can not describe...

    Keep smilin!

  21. Tears are coming out of my eyes! What a wonderful moment to remember and capture on video.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. How exciting! What precious pictures, too. Hannah is adorable!


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